FROM CRIMINAL DISTRICT COURT ORLEANS PARISH NO. 517-974,
SECTION "F" Honorable Robin D. Pittman, Judge
A. CANNIZZARO, JR. DISTRICT ATTORNEY OF ORLEANS PARISH SCOTT
G. VINCENT ASSISTANT DISTRICT ATTORNEY COUNSEL FOR
HERRLE-CASTILLO LOUISIANA APPELLATE PROJECT COUNSEL FOR
composed of Chief Judge James F. McKay III, Judge Daniel L.
Dysart, Judge Dale N. Atkins)
F. MCKAY III CHIEF JUDGE.
October 24, 2013, the State charged Jesus Estrada Contreras,
a/k/a Simon Cruz Ramirez, a/k/a Oscar Herrera, a/k/a Modesto
Fuentes, a/k/a "Migo" (defendant) with three counts
of attempted second degree murder, La. R.S. 14:(27)30.1; one
count of the illegal discharge of a firearm during a crime of
violence, La. R.S. 14:94(F); and one count of possession of a
firearm by a convicted felon, La. R.S. 14:95.1.
defendant pled not guilty on all counts at his arraignment on
November 7, 2013.
defendant's motions to suppress the identification and
evidence were denied June 20, 2014.
8, 2015, the trial court denied the defendant's Motion to
Quash Count 5 of the Bill of Information.
16, 2015, the State filed its Prieur notice.
March 14, 2016, the trial judge found the defendant competent
case proceeded to trial on September 6, 2016, and concluded
on September 8, 2016, with the jury finding the defendant
guilty of three counts of attempted manslaughter (counts 1, 2
and 3) and guilty as charged of illegal discharge of a
firearm during a crime of violence (count 4) and possession
of a firearm by a convicted felon (count 5).
October 5, 2016, the defendant filed a Motion for Arrest of
Judgment and a Motion for Post-Verdict Judgment of Acquittal,
or in the alternative, for a New Trial, which were denied
November 7, 2016.
November 14, 2016, the trial court sentenced the defendant to
twenty years at hard labor with credit for time served, on
each of his attempted manslaughter convictions. On his
conviction for illegal discharge of a firearm during a crime
of violence, the defendant was sentenced to twenty years
without benefit of parole, probation or suspension of
sentence. As to the conviction for being a felon in
possession of a firearm, the defendant received a twenty-year
sentence without benefit of parole, probation or suspension
of sentence, plus a $1, 000.00 fine. The sentences on all
five counts to be served concurrently.
Orleans Police Department ("NOPD") latent print
examiner Officer Joseph Pollard ("Pollard")
identified State's Exhibit 1 as a certified copy of the
defendant's fingerprints taken on September 4, 2013,
bearing the defendant's date of birth October 28, 1971,
State Identification Number 002601023 and FBI Number
319397XA1. Next, Officer Pollard identified State's
Exhibit 2 as the card containing the defendant's
fingerprints taken by Office Pollard prior to the start of
this trial. Officer Pollard then produced a certified
conviction packet, State's Exhibit 3 in globo, in the
defendant's name and aliases, Jesus Estrada Contreras,
a/k/a Simon Cruz Ramirez, a/k/a Oscar Herrera, a/k/a Modesto
Fuentes, a/k/a "Migo, " bearing Georgia State case
number 99CR480C, containing a fingerprint card and plea of
guilty to involuntary manslaughter signed by the defendant on
September 7, 2000. The fingerprint card and the guilty plea
record the defendant's date of birth as October 28, 1971.
Pollard compared the fingerprints on State's Exhibit 1
and 2 to the prints contained on State's Exhibit 3 and
determined the three sets of fingerprints were identical and
belonged to the defendant.
Communications Officer Nicole Jones testified that she
monitored 911 calls and dispatch audio. Every 911 call is
recorded, generates an incident recall or brief summary of
the purpose of the call and assigned an item number for
identification for future investigation.
Mary Colon ("Detective Colon") investigated the
June 6, 2013, shooting at a residence in the 2300 block of
Touro Street. When Detective Colon arrived on the scene, she
learned Trina Tinsley ("Tinsley"), Dwight Griffin
("Griffin") and Carl Williams
("Williams") had been shot. Two bullet fragments
and a beer can, from which the shooting suspect had been
drinking, were collected by the crime scene technicians.
Detective Colon submitted the beer can for DNA testing and
the bullet fragments were sent to ballistics for processing.
Detective Colon spoke to Tinsley, Griffin and Williams at the
scene but was unable to locate the suspect. She also spoke to
people who lived in the neighborhood.
Colon relocated to the hospital where she spoke with one of
the victims, Tinsley, who related the events surrounding the
shooting. Detective Colon presented Tinsley with a
confirmation photo of the defendant. She then prepared an
arrest warrant for the defendant and a warrant to search 825
Fourth Street. The search of the residence yielded a Ruger
handgun and bullets. Detective Colon submitted all of the
evidence to Central Evidence and Property and requested
ballistics testing on the handgun and bullets. Detective
Colon entered the arrest warrant in the National Crime
Information Center Systems and later learned that the
defendant had been apprehended in Texas.
McElrath, the section head for the firearms unit of the NOPD
Crime Lab, testified that comparison testing of the two
bullet fragments obtained from the crime scene revealed that
those bullets were fired by the same weapon. However, the
test bullet McElrath fired from the Ruger handgun retrieved
from 835 Fourth Street did not match the bullet fragments
from the shooting scene, demonstrating the Ruger was not the
weapon used in this shooting.
2012, Williams testified that he knew the defendant from
purchasing drugs from him. Williams also knew the defendant
through his niece, Tinsley. On June 5, 2013, Williams and
Tinsley were at his sister's house in Marrero when he
received a call from the defendant accusing him of having
broken into the defendant's house. Williams denied the
accusation and proceeded to the defendant's house on
Touro Street to speak with him. When Williams arrived, the
defendant was speaking to another person. The conversation
made Williams uncomfortable, so he showed the defendant he
was unarmed. The defendant and Williams walked to
Tinsley's house, which was just a few doors from the
defendant's residence, and began to drink, smoke
marijuana and use cocaine. Tinsley and Griffin joined in the
smoking and drinking. The defendant went to the bathroom and
was gone about thirty minutes. The defendant returned, sat on
the sofa and began firing, wounding Williams and Tinsley.
When Detective Colon arrived on the scene, Williams did not
say he had been shot but he eventually identified the
defendant as the shooter.
testified the defendant shot at him, Tinsley and Williams on
June 5th or 6th, 2013, while they were at
Tinsley's residence drinking and smoking marijuana. After
a few hours, the defendant went to the bathroom. When the
defendant returned, he sat on the sofa and continued to drink
and smoke with the others. Without warning, the defendant
stood up, removed a gun from his pants pocket and began
shooting at Williams. After a few shots, the defendant turned
the gun in the direction of Griffin and Tinsley, who dropped
to the floor and hid behind the bar. Williams kept asking the
defendant why he was shooting at them, but the defendant just
turned and walked out the door. Griffin told the
investigating officers the defendant was the shooter.
testified that she, Williams, and Griffin were together on
June 5, 2013, in Marrero when she received several calls from
the defendant. She would not take the defendant's calls,
so he called Williams. Tinsley and Griffin went to her
residence at 2325 Touro Street. Williams went to the
defendant's house at 2321 Touro Street. Tinsley received
a call from Williams asking her to meet him at the
defendant's residence, which she and Griffin did. While
the trio was at the defendant's residence, Williams
raised his shirt to prove to the defendant he was unarmed. At
that point, Tinsley and Griffin returned to her residence.
Shortly after, Williams called her and asked if he could
bring the defendant to her house. When they arrived at
Tinsley's house, the defendant sat on the sofa drinking
beer, while she, Williams and Griffin stood in the kitchen,
smoking and drinking. A few minutes later, the defendant went
to the bathroom. When he came back, he sat on ...